Ms Judit Rius Sanjuan, MSF’s US Access Campaign Manager and Legal Policy Advisor (Photo Courtesy: www.blogs.bmj.com)
As representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific-Rim countries gather in New Zealand to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement today, the fight to protect access to medicines in TPP countries is intensifying at the national level, with legislative processes starting that will determine if the deal is finally ratified and implemented.
The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling on the more than 800 million people living in TPP countries to urge their governments to reject the deal unless harmful provisions that lock in high drug prices are removed.
"The fight to stop this irresponsible trade deal from going into effect is far from over," said Ms Judit Rius Sanjuan, MSF's US Access Campaign manager and legal policy advisor. "The TPP deal being signed today is the worst trade deal ever for access to medicines and will make life-saving treatments unaffordable for those who need them most. That's why it's critical that people demand their governments uphold their obligations to protect public health and fight back against unjust profiteering that would be enabled by the TPP."
The current TPP countries are United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, but more countries could sign on, and the agreement is being billed as a blueprint for future trade deals.
The TPP deal was agreed in October after more than five years of negotiations that were conducted in secret, without the opportunity for public review.